February 21, 2013 Articles

The CPSC Database Approaches Second Birthday

By Josh Johanningmeier, Kerry Gabrielson, and Tristan Breedlove

The first year of the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) database included an influx of reports of harm relating to the use of consumer products and voiced concerns by manufacturers and industry representatives about the potential inaccuracy of such reports.

The CPSC's publicly searchable database— SaferProducts.gov—turned one year old this past March. The stated purpose of the database is to allow consumers to search for safety information about products before or after purchasing them, and to help the commission in identifying potential hazards. Has it performed that role? We will take a look at where the database came from, how it is supposed to work, and analyze the highlights of its first year.

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